Ive been going back

Views

I’ve been going back and forth in recent weeks with a good friend of mine over whether military action against Iran before the election is in the cards. I think it is a very real possibility. My friend says that despite the Administration’s well-documented bad ideas, as played out in the Iraq invasion, for example, it doesn’t act irrationally, and that military action against Iran now is not rational.

He points, among other things, to the lack of troops, the fact that the Administration itself would view limiting the action to airstrikes as a demonstration of its own weakeness, and the absence of political support for the move even among Republicans compared with the support for the Iraq invasion.

All good points, but I don’t have the same degree of confidence in the Administration’s rationality. And even if I grant the rationality argument, it strikes me that attacking Iran might be “rational” if it means the difference between the GOP winning or losing Congress. Gary Hart lays out what seems to me like a plausible scenario for pre-election military action.

Unfortunately, my friend and I agree that if the GOP retains control of Congress, all bets are off and everything up to and including a ground invasion will be on the table.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.
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